I want you to recognize
or the rest of this won't make any sense.
First the gospel is true.
Second, your marriage is in disarray as a consequence of your lack
Here is what I mean: There is a right way to live, and a wrong way.
The right way is to repent from sin, and believe the gospel. Submit
to Jesus' demands for discipleship, bring your life under the
authority of God's word, and try to honor Christ in how you live.
There is forgiveness for sins, but that is only through faith …
and not the kind of faith that is
faked. Rather, the kind of faith that saves is the kind that
transforms your life, and causes you stop living for yourself and
start living for Jesus.
2nd: your marriage is in disarray as a consequence of your
lack of wisdom. Stay with me here; I don't mean this as an I told
you so, but as a simple lesson in how the world works, so that you
can work on fixing your marriage. You understood that sex before
marriage was wrong and an assault on God's character and the nature
of the gospel, but you did it anyway. You also knew that living with
your girlfriend apart from marriage was wrong, and that it too was
mockery of God's standard and design for the family…but you did that
too. Now don't delete this yet. I'm not just beating up on you, but
I'm going somewhere with this.
The fact that your marriage is now in bad shape PROVES the truth of
the gospel. It proves that the way you previously lived was bad. If
I sell you what I say are seeds for an orange tree, and you plant
them, water them, and care for them, and an avocado tree grows, then
I am a liar. But if you plant them, water them, care for them, and
then reap oranges, I was telling the truth. In this case, you
planted, watered, and cultivated seeds of sin. What grew is
destruction in your life. I hope you see that there is truth in the
demands that the Bible has laid out for your life, and that when you
disregard them, you reap the consequences of sin, which in this case
might even end up being divorce.
But this is a two-way street. If you sow righteousness, then you can
expect to experience the fruit of the gospel in your life. So, what
do you do?
Decide if you are going to finally be serious about your
relationship with the Lord. Unless you love Christ more than your
wife, your life, and this world, then none of my advice on marriage
will do anything at all to help you. My help only comes in the
context of loving Jesus. If you are unwilling to submit your life to
him, and to sacrifice your dreams and goals, and replace them with
serving the Lord, then this letter should end here.
Confess your sins to the Lord, and ask for forgiveness based simply
on the fact that Jesus was sinless, bore your sins on the cross, and
offers life to those who believe.
Find a church that teaches the Bible, and join it. Ask the pastor
for help with your life and marriage.
Confess all of your sins to your wife. Let her know how you
have failed. Accept full responsibility for your failings,
and for causing her to compromise with you.
Explain to her that your life is different now because of your love
for Jesus. Tell her that you want her to love Christ as well … not
in the superficial way, but in a way that transforms her life like
it transformed yours.
Ask for patience as you start to grow in your understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and
what it means to be a Christian husband.
Additionally, make sure she knows that you are not expecting her to
believe what you are telling her. The way you have led her in the
past has cost you trust, and so it is likely she will rightly be
skeptical of you playing the Jesus card, and expecting everything to
be different now. The Christian
life requires work, and it requires you to learn how to lead her.
Understand that she may not want this to work out. She may be done,
and want the marriage to end. If this is the case, there is nothing
you can do, except pray and continue to care and provide for your
are no secret recipes here for a happy marriage. There is no trick
to winning your wife back. A field
sown in sin will produce a harvest of tears. But there is hope that
through the gospel your sins may be forgiven. Avail yourself of
that, and find your life by losing it. If you do that, and
the gospel radically changes your life, then who knows? Perhaps the
evidence of a changed life will change your wife's life as well.
Finally, don't make the mistake of seeing a relationship with Jesus
as the means to an end, if the end is rescuing your marriage. Jesus
is not a genie, he does not answer your wish, and does not put
Humpty Dumpty back together again. He does offer grace and
forgiveness, and together those two elements and show you how to
live through trials. Jesus is a means to an end, but the end is
giving honor to God, not fixing your marriage. If you believe that,
you will turn from sin and love Christ. As Christ becomes your life,
you will be amazed at how that changes everything.